MANILA - Mayoral candidate Jeannie Sandoval on Tuesday vowed genuine change for Malabon City, saying it saw no progress under the leadership of Mayor Antolin “Lenlen” Oreta III.
"Sa pagiikot sa mga barangay nakikita ko na maraming mga problema na hindi na-address ng ating pamunuan. I think it’s time for genuine change, tunay na pagbabago," Sandoval said.
(When I go around barangays, I can still see a lot of problems that have not been addressed by the current administration.)
In an interview on ANC's Headstart, Sandoval gave Oreta a rating of 5, with 10 being the highest, for his performance as city mayor.
"We still have problems with flooding, basura and sa batayang serbisyo tulad ng pang kalusugan, sa edukasyon, sa livelihood and then we have a proliferation of drugs and rising criminality," Sandoval said.
(We still have problems with flooding, garbage, and basic services like health, education, livelihood and then the proliferation of drugs and rising criminality.)
Early this month, President Rodrigo Duterte personally campaigned for Sandoval, whose rival Oreta is endorsed by the Liberal Party.
It was also during that event where Duterte threatened to have Oreta arrested over supposedly failing to curb the city's drug problem.
"I'm sure he has his reasons for doing that and I'm sure he's also privy to intel reports that we're not aware of," Sandoval said when asked to react to the President's threat.
Sandoval said two barangay officials are in the narco list and two of the biggest shabu laboratories were found in their area and "has not been resolved until now."
Sandoval, the city's vice mayor, clarified that it is still the executive that deals with such problems.
"It's command leadership also. Imposibleng hindi siya aware. He should have done steps to prevent or stop the circumstances. Part of it is inaction," she said.
In a statement, Oreta said the city has been conducting its own anti-illegal drug campaign and was even recognized by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on multiple occasions.
The mayor added that out of the 21 barangays, 9 or 40 percent have been declared as drug-cleared.
He also stressed that Malabon has the highest number of anti-illegal drug programs in the whole of Metro Manila.
In countering the mayor's claim, Sandoval said that the illegal drug trade continues in the barangay level.
"If you talk to the ordinary citizens, they don't feel na drug-free ang Malabon," she said.